The mouth-watering fragrance really lifts from the waffle iron.
- Waffles are relatively flat baked goods, with an embossed lattice-like pattern, made of flour; and they are often associated with Belgium.
- ‘Waffles’ have also been known as ‘wafles’, while variants include ‘Belgian’, ‘American’, ‘Brussel’ and ‘Flemish’.
- The ingredients of waffles are usually a cooked batter of wheat flour, eggs, salt, milk, sugar and sometimes yeast.
- Waffles are commonly spread or covered with cream, butter, icing sugar, fruits including berries, syrup, jam or ice-cream.
- The term ‘waffle’ was derived from the Dutch word ‘wafel’, which itself came from the Proto-Germanic word ‘wabila’, meaning ‘web’ or ‘honeycomb’.
- Waffles typically have a light or airy feel with a crisp texture, and are golden brown in colour and are cooked in a variety of shapes, including squares and hearts.
- Waffles are cooked by pouring the batter in a patterned waffle iron that generally has a base and a lid that encloses the batter, and when heated, cooks the batter.
- The ancestor of the waffle was the ‘obleios’, a wafer cake from Ancient Greece, which from the 1200s AD became a patterned form similar to the modern one.
- The earliest known printed recipe of the waffle can be found in the late 1300s book Le Ménagier de Paris.
- The waffle’s correlation to Belgian culture was created in the World Fairs of 1962 and 1964, where Belgian cooks would serve delicious Belgian-style waffles, which became popular in America.
Do you like a nice hot cross bun on Good Friday?
- Hot cross buns are food items, that are sweet dough based bread, that are generally spiced with mixed spice, a mixture that typically includes cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice, among others.
- Flour, milk, sugar, butter, yeast, sultanas or raisins, currants and mixed spice are the traditional primary ingredients in making hot cross buns.
- Hot cross buns are typically eaten on Good Friday of the Easter period, although they are often sold all year round, peaking from January to April.
- It is thought that hot cross buns originated at a pagan Saxon festival, as a praise towards Eostre, a goddess, and the cross is said to have originally represented the seasons and the moon.
- A cross shape is found on the top of hot cross buns, and it is made of icing, pastry, or a water and flour paste, although it is said that originally the cross was most likely cut into the dough with a knife.
- Hot cross buns now come in an increasing variety of flavours, like chocolate, apple, orange, toffee or coffee, and they can also be fruitless.
- The commonly accepted symbolic meaning of hot cross buns today, originates from the Christian worldview, representing the cross and crucifixion of Jesus on Good Friday.
- Hot cross buns are often glazed with a heated sugar and water mixture, that is brushed on the top of the cooked buns while they are still hot.
- Typically, hot cross buns are served heated as a snack, and are commonly accompanied by a spread, such as butter.
- Hot cross buns are surrounded by many myths, such as the bun’s supposed protection against fire and its year-long resistance to mould if baked on the correct day.
Delicious pfeffernüsse cookies, perfect for Christmas.
- Pfeffernüsse are cookies that are made of flour, sugar and spices, often pepper, and sometimes ground nuts.
- Pfeffernüsse are generally believed to be of German origin, although some people believe they are a Dutch cookie known as ‘pepernoten’, however, a number of Scandinavian countries have their own recipes of a similar named and tasting cookie, which is probably the main cause for confusion.
- ‘Pfeffernüsse’ are also known as ‘peppernødders’, ‘pfeffernusse’, ‘peppernuts’ and ‘pebernødder’.
- Pfeffernüsse are popularly and traditionally eaten during holidays, particularly at Christmas or during the Christmas season.
- Pfeffernüsse were traditionally eaten at special feasts in Germany, Netherlands and Belgiums on the 5 and 6 of December, and are similar to the German ‘lebkuchen’, a type of gingerbread.
- Pfeffernüsse are sometimes bitter due to the spice combination, so are often coated in powdered sugar (icing sugar).
- Pfeffernüsse are traditionally very hard and firm once cooked, so they are typically dunked in liquid prior to consuming.
- Pfeffernüsse are typically ginger-coloured, with a snowy white coating, and home made cookies are best left to develop their flavours and soften for a few days before being eaten.
- Pfeffernüsse are among the biscuits with the least amount of fat, as they generally lack butter and oil, although recipes vary greatly, and some do use butter.
- Pfeffernüsse are generally shaped as round balls or drops, and can be often purchased from supermarkets and other shops, although these are usually soft cookies.
Pfeffernüsse, 2012, The Chic Brûlée, http://thechicbrulee.com/2012/11/30/pfeffernusse/
Pfeffernüsse, 2013, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pfeffernusse
Fruitcake may sound healthy… But it has lots of sugar!
- Fruitcake is typically made of dried and/or candied fruit, with added spices, flour, sugar, egg, butter, and often nuts.
- ‘Fruitcake’ is also known as ‘fruit cake’, ‘Christmas cake’ and ‘black cake’.
- Fruitcake is a cake that is commonly eaten during the Christmas season or at weddings, and sometimes at other occasions including special anniversaries.
- Fruitcake, in some countries, is covered with icing, or marzipan, or eaten with cream or similar, while many countries eat it plain.
- Fruitcake started to become popular during Ancient Rome, where preserved fruit was made into a cake with other ingredients.
- Many countries of the Commonwealth cook dark brown coloured fruit cakes, known as ‘traditional fruit cakes’, that emphasize the use of nuts and fruit, and light fruit cakes are sometimes baked in these and other countries.
- Some Christmas cake recipes use alcohol, like rum, brandy or whiskey, to enhance the flavour and extend the shelf-life of the cake.
- Fruitcake has been used as a tossing item in competitions, particularly in the tossing tournament in the US’s Colorado.
- Once candied fruit was being produced in the 1500s, fruit cake became more common and cheaper.
- Fruitcake can be preserved for over 20 years with the use of alcohol, even without refrigeration, and has been used by soldiers due to its long shelf life.
Douglas J, Ultimate Guide to Fruitcake, 2013, TLC, http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/menus/fruitcake1.htm
Fruitcake, 2013, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fruitcake